Prague gets hold of modern genetics founder Mendel's papers

February 9, 2012

Germany has handed to the Czech Republic a manuscript of Johann Gregor Mendel, founder of modern genetics, on his plant hybridization experiments, the Czech foreign minister said Thursday.

"This is a scientific work of immense value," Karel Schwarzenberg told a news conference on Mendel, who lived from 1822 to 1884, and demonstrated that the inheritance traits of certain pea plants followed patterns.

"Mendel was one of the greatest scholars of his era, a precursor of today's scientists who study DNA," he said.

The manuscript entitled 'Experiments on Plant Hybridization' was presented by Mendel at two natural history society meetings in 1865, when he was an Augustinian friar in Brno.

The return of the papers is the "result of sustained diplomatic efforts," the Czech minister said. It will be displayed at the museum of the Augustinian abbey in Brno where Mendel died in 1884.

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1 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2012
Mendel did not found modern genetics ~ that is complete and utter rubbish and completely without foundation.

Mendel studied a particular form of genetic transmission and was lucky enough to choose an organism that had simple, what we now call 'Mendelian', inheritance. Many organisms do not (they are more complex).

"Mendel himself may have borrowed at least part of his main idea from someone else. He made no mention of the English horticulturist Thomas Knight's paper of 1799 showing how the easily achieved artificial pollination of different varieties of pea could hint at the mechanism of heredity, even down to the reappearance of characters in the second generation. Knight's paper, translated into German, was in the university library in Brünn (Brno)."
Nature Via Nurture: Gene, Experience, & what makes us human by Matt Ridley p.232

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